Solar power is the energy provided by the sun, which is harnessed using technology known as photovoltaic (PV) cells, which are able to turn sunlight directly into energy which can be used to power your home or business. When sunshine hits the PV cell, this is known as the ‘photovoltaic effect’ and causes the photons of light to excite the electrons in the cell, which in turn leads to the generation and flow of electricity.
Homeowners all around the US and indeed around the world are taking advantage of this cleaner, eco-friendlier method of generating power and getting solar panels installed in their homes. So, if you’re thinking about going solar, you might be wondering how exactly it’s going to benefit your life. We’ve put together just some of the main reasons why more and more people are opting for solar panels today.
#1. It’s much better for the environment:
For many people, the decision to install solar panels on their home or business is because they are doing everything that they can to live a more environmentally friendly life. If you are trying to reduce your carbon footprint and take steps to be kinder to the planet, then solar panels are a no-brainer, because unlike conventional power, solar panels produce no harmful emissions that damage the environment. It is a clean and renewable process that uses the sun – the most natural of all resources.
And, even the energy that’s used to power the PV cells will be repaid soon after. Depending on the type of solar panels installed, energy payback time (EPBT) for PV and CPV systems is estimated to be around between just half and one and a half years. After that point, all the energy will be renewable, all of the time.
Compare that to most of the conventional energy used in the US – fossil fuels are currently generating just under 70% of the electricity that we consume, and there are several damaging resulting emissions from this, including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and mercury and other heavy metals. Each of these have varying harmful effects including contribution to global warming, acid raid, ground-level ozone, and hazy conditions.
#2. It’s a wise investment in your home:
Of course, environmental concerns are not the only reason why an increasing number of homeowners are opting for solar power. There is no denying that it is a solid investment in your home. It’s fair to say that many popular home improvements will not quite add the equal value to your home when compared to the money that you put into them, but solar panels on the other hand will save you money from your energy bills every month, and make your home more valuable to prospective buyers if you decide to sell it. In fact, studies have found that buyers are willing to pay $15,000 extra for a home that has solar panels installed – not only is this likely to be more than your original investment in the panels, but also a return on investment when it comes to all the money that you’ve saved on energy since installation.
And, you can put your solar panels to use for making money from the moment that they are installed. By opting for battery storage installation with your solar panels, you will be storing and using energy during your utility company’s off-peak hours, and selling any surplus energy back to them during peak hours for the best price. Speak to a reputable battery storage company like Semper Solaris about the benefits and particulars of getting battery storage installation alongside solar panels.
#3. They are durable:
Solar panels are often more durable and reliable than your conventional energy company – they have no moving parts and are not easily damaged, which can significantly lower the chance of experiencing an interruption in service.
And, all modern solar panels today are exhaustively tested to ensure that they are able to withstand high winds and other extreme weather conditions, like heavy snowfall or hail. Opt for a reputable contractor which guarantees that each solar panel installed will be at least as strong as your roof itself.
And, the good news is that in the unlikely event of your solar panels becoming damaged, most will come with a long warranty of 20-30 years, covered by the original installer. Make sure that this warranty is included before you get the panels installed, so that you have peace of mind should any future damage occur.
#4. They can help you afford home improvements:
Are you considering other ways to improve your home? Installing solar panels will often give you the chance to design other home improvements with the addition of the solar panels in mind. For example, some people will consider adding a hot tub or swimming pool that uses renewable energy in their home, if you would be unable to afford this using conventional energy – statistics show that pool owners tend to spend at least $500 in energy bills per year on this alone, which can easily be reduced by using solar panels. Combining the two home improvements means that you can design your solar panel system to cover the extra energy usage and use that investment to pay for the other. And, don’t forget that the money you’ll be saving each month on your energy bills, or making from selling to the utility companies, can be put towards doing even more around your home.
#5. There’s a fixed energy cost:
You’ve probably already experienced the frustration of getting energy from utility providers, where you’re never guaranteed a set price – energy prices tend to rise and fall at various times of the year with seemingly no cause or effect. And, when you have no other option, as a customer you simply have to pay whatever the current price is, even if you’ve managed to shop around and switch to a better deal.
On the other hand, the cost for your solar panel system will remain the same. Whether you choose to buy your system outright, lease it or finance it, you know what you’re going to be paying. Leased and financed options will translate to a set, minimal monthly payment which will replace your electricity bill. And if you’re purchasing your panels outright, then you won’t need to spend anything on electricity once they are installed.
#6. Get ahead of the curve:
Finally, you probably already know that clean, renewable energy is the future. Renewable energies have begun to make up a significant number of additions to the power grid in recent years, and in 2016, solar, wind and natural gas made up over 90% of total gigawatts of utility-scale generating capacity. And, in recent years, the US has risen to be the 4th highest user of solar power around the world, behind China, Germany and Japan. And, for major change to happen, regular homeowners like you need to make the seemingly small steps that will all eventually add up to make the world a cleaner, greener place.
Whether you’re concerned for the environment, want to save money or add value to your home, there are several great reasons to consider investing in solar panels. Thanks to Semper Solaris for collaborating!